Choosing a Cloud Provider: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started
Who knew it would be this hard to choose a cloud provider? Vendors make cloud technology seem so easy, but as you discovered, that’s not always the case.
The cloud is expanding and becoming more complex. Choosing a cloud provider requires working with your specific business use case, and successfully migrating is key to selecting the right provider.
This article will expand upon these three issues and provide guidelines you can use to choose the right cloud provider for your needs.
Choosing a Cloud Provider Is Hard
Choosing a cloud provider can seem like a monumental task at first. The cloud, cloud services, and DevOps are expanding in scope and show no sign of slowing down or reducing complexity.
Every cloud service provider is different. It can be challenging to know which provider will best serve your company goals, especially since the cloud, and cloud providers, keep changing and evolving.
No cloud provider can deliver a 100% perfect and compatible service, and no cloud provider will remain the same from the start to the end of a contract. Providers add new services, new business scopes, and new priorities consistently. Afterall, what good is the CI/CD model without the push for continuous improvement?
While cloud providers generally offer the same services at comparable prices, especially among the market leaders like Amazon and Microsoft, it’s difficult to separate a leader from the pack. This experience can be frustrating for a client who needs specific metrics met by their cloud provider.
Another thing to consider is how your cloud provider will handle your project. Even within cloud services, multiple deployment options exist, adding further complexity to the equation.
Depending on your business use cases, slightly different services may be added to your account to meet your business needs. You will most likely not be in charge of making these decisions—they will be made for you by vendor engineers and managers based on your requirements.
While these experiences are common to cloud providers and clients, this does not have to be your experience. You should be in complete control when choosing a cloud provider, based on your business’s specific nature and the migration process, once you have determined your provider.
The Choice of the Cloud Provider Should Be Driven by Your Business Use Case
You know your business best. You know your key value propositions, business use justifications, what your users want, and the direction you want your business to head. Companies that state they understand your business better than you do not. They are just trying to make a quick sale, and you should avoid them.
Choosing the right cloud provider is critical and should be driven by your business’s specific nature. You can follow these three guidelines to select the most compatible cloud services provider for your needs:
- Consider the services you need to fulfill your key value propositions. Suitable cloud provider candidates will be able to offer cloud services that strengthen your proposals. They will provide metrics, set clear targets, and offer periodic evaluations to meet your needs.
- The cloud services provider should complement your business’s goals and needs. The services provided should address the weaknesses inherent in your own company and areas that are of secondary importance to your goals. No one company is good at everything in their scope of practice. Third-party suppliers are needed for these exact situations to “fill in the gaps.”
- Don’t forget about location. Regional presence, legislations, and applicable regulations, like the GDPR, the U.S. Patriot Act, and HIPPA, are essential to understand. You will need to consider the limitations such governmental frameworks place on your business, business needs, and cloud provider candidates.
Even if a candidate is perfect in every other way, restrictive regional locations may disqualify a candidate. Consider where companies, regardless of size, are keeping data in data centers globally. Depending on the location of specific data, data may be subject to specific government policies that may affect its integrity, security, and confidentiality.
Every country and region has different applicable laws and limitations, so you need to consider how your data will be affected by its storage location.
Migration to the Right Provider Does Not Have to Be a Disaster
Transitioning to any new third-party supplier can be a scary experience at first. Relying on a third-party supplier to fulfill necessary work under strict deadlines is a gamble you cannot afford to lose.
Luckily, the web is not the wild west it once was. Here’s why:
- Most providers offer similar cloud service offerings and APIs. If you are not comfortable with the service supplied by your chosen third-party supplier, you can outsource to a different company with little hassle.
- Migrating cloud services is not done through clear channels of communication. Cloud migration experts should handle corporate migrations. While great at their jobs, engineers should not be responsible for migrations, as they often put product development on hold in search of perfectionism.
- Migrating cloud products is simple. You can follow a standardized process to package your products securely and optimized for the cloud. Cloud usage and benefits can be integrated with your product easily to simplify and increase your cloud migration productivity.
With many cloud service providers following the same or similar modes of development and delivery, the main criteria you should keep in mind is compatibility. Is this company an excellent cultural fit? Do your business needs fit within their scope of practice? Do you like their business practices and offerings?
These, and many other, questions are paramount to ensuring that migrating to the right provider is a quick and straightforward process to benefit both your company and the supplier.